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Granite State College President, Dr. Karol LaCroix, Announces Her Retirement

For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Kate Benway

Granite State College President, Dr. Karol LaCroix, Announces Her Retirement

Dr. LaCroix will retire June 30, 2010, capping off 30 years of dedicated service to the University System of New Hampshire

CONCORD, NH – Dr. Karol A. LaCroix, current President of Granite State College (GSC) and former Dean of the University of New Hampshire Manchester, has announced her plans to retire in June 2010. The announcement comes on the heels of Dr. LaCroix’s success in realigning and re-energizing Granite State College.

Dr. LaCroix, president of Granite State College since 2004, has lead the transformation of the institution, formerly known as the College for Lifelong Learning. Under her direction, the College has become a leading provider of classroom and online learning for traditional and non-traditional age students across the state. GSC currently has four regional centers in Conway, Claremont, Concord and Rochester, along with five educational sites located in Berlin, Manchester, Littleton, Portsmouth and Lebanon.

“I have always felt a deep commitment to education and my particular passion has been the adult learner and lifelong education,” said Dr. LaCroix. “I strongly believe in and support the notion that being a student transcends age. Affording New Hampshire residents opportunities to return to school, embark upon a degree program for the first time or simply engage in professional or personal development is integral to our state’s vitality. I’m particularly proud that, over the last five years, I have been part of the effort to create a dynamic, innovative state-wide institution for learners of all ages at Granite State College.”

Under the leadership of Dr. LaCroix, the College has experienced historic enrollment numbers – including a 20 percent increase this year – and the establishment of endowments to support scholarships and lifelong learning opportunities. The institution has become the statewide leader in online education and offers associate and bachelor degrees, post-baccalaureate programs for teacher education and seamless transfer opportunities. The mission of the College is to provide access to public higher education to adult learners of all ages across the state.

“Dr. Karol LaCroix has been an invaluable asset to Granite State College and to the University System of New Hampshire throughout her distinguished career,” said University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Chancellor Edward MacKay. “Karol’s passion for lifelong learning drove the transformation of Granite State College to more fully realize its mission of providing statewide access to quality academic programs.”

Dr. LaCroix will retire on June 30, 2010. In the meantime, the USNH Board of Trustees will conduct a national search for GSC’s next president, aiming to install a new president for the start of the next academic year.

“The legacy of her accomplishments will be to inspire all of us to set the bar higher and has re-energized a commitment made by University System of New Hampshire trustees in the 1970s to serve place bound students of any age throughout the state. That vision could not be seen any clearer than in the work of Dr. LaCroix over the last five years,” said Edward Dupont, Chairman of the USNH Board of Trustees.

Dr. LaCroix was born and raised in Newport, New Hampshire where her mother, Claire Bushaw, still resides. At the University of New Hampshire, Dr. LaCroix was a medical laboratory sciences faculty member for many years. In the early 1990s, she was named Associate Dean of the School of Health and Human Services. With plans to return to the ranks of the faculty, leadership positions came calling. She soon became Interim Dean of the Graduate School, where she caught a glimpse of what would become her true passion: the adult learner. Fueled by that passion, Dr. LaCroix served as Dean of the University of New Hampshire Manchester from 1996 to 2004.

Governor Lynch named Dr. LaCroix to the Executive Branch Ethics Committee and she also serves as a board member of the Concord Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Public Television and the New Hampshire College and University Council.